Legal Question in Consumer Law in Pennsylvania
I was at a store last week and had a complaint about an employee who ignored me. I went home and sent the complaint to the company via the online form on their website. In my complaint I expressed how I did not want to make the complaint at the store for fear the employees would take some action against me in the future. The company not only proceeded to pass the complaint to the store in question, they sent it and my contact info directly to the very employee I was complaining about. It turns out he is the manager of the store and he now has all my personal contact info, access to receipts at the store containing my credit card info for all my credit cards and he now has a reason to take action against me. This was all done against the wishes that I specifically expressed when I sent the complaint. Now I am left in a very compromising situation even though I was being careful to submit my complain anonymously. There is more to this issue but that is the jist of it. Does it sound like I have a case against this store?
1 Answer from Attorneys
For what? The answer is probably not. First, many stores are only franchise operations, not owned by the regular corporate owner. If this is the case, then the corporate owner has no control over management decisions and would have to turn this over to the local operation, i.e., the store manager.
Sending a complaint via the online complaint form was not the wisest thing you could have done. If you truly wanted to be anonymous then you should NOT have posted any personal information about you - you could have simply described your encounter with the employee and maybe asked for appropriate disciplinary action. Or, you could have done your research on the company, and taken the time to send a typed formal letter to someone in charge at the company who handles customer relations or operations.
And the store manager would have had all this information anyway. So what? I don't see the concern. If the store manager takes your credit card and creates false charges that is another matter - he would then be committing a crime. Do you really think most law-abiding people are going to engage in criminal conduct? Only people who (a) do not care about the laws; or (b) people with a particular personal vendetta against you would go this far.
Its just my opinion but I see no damages here and no actionable legal matter. Unless this is the only store in town which sells goods of a certain kind, most other stores will be happy to have your business. Buy elsewhere. If this is the only store in town, then only use cash there and hope that they have employees other than the store manager and that he is not there whenever you shop there.